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Netherlands hold France to first 0-0 draw of Euro 2024 after disallowed goal


There were plenty of sparks, but no goal in the first 0-0 draw of Euro 2024 in Leipzig on Friday, June 21. And it surprisingly came in a Group D game between two powerhouses of European football — France and the Netherlands. With Kylian Mbappe, who was dropped to the bench after he suffered a broken nose earlier in the week, taking no part in the game, the shooting boots were missing in an entertaining contest.

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Xavi Simon’s second-half goal was chalked off by a debatable VAR decision as the Netherlands were forced to settle for the draw. Questions will be asked of the call which saw Denzel Dumfries ruled off-side for standing in the direction of French goalkeeper Mike Maignan’s line of sight when Simon deposited a rebound into the back of the net. Maignan was not able to dive when the ball was travelling towards his left, as Dumfries was standing in the way, but the ball did not make contact with the Inter Milan star.

There was tension in the stadium when the VAR check was going on as the Dutch fans were holding their breadth, waiting in anticipation. There was disappointment for those in orange while the French fans knew the rub of green went their way. France were lucky that they were not punished for their wasted chances — 12 attempts and 3 on target with nothing to show for.

“As a Frenchman, this decision is shocking,” Patrice Evra, who was on air for Sony Sports, said after the game ended in a 0-0 draw. Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who was watching the game from the stands, was baffled by the VAR call.

Nonetheless, the backlines of both France and the Netherlands deserve a lot of credit for keeping the high-quality attackers quiet. France had the better chances with Antonio Griezmann denied a close-range effort before Simon’s goal was not given. Griezmann’s long-range effort was also saved by Bart Verbruggen, who was on top form for the Dutch between the sticks on Friday.

Netherlands are on top of the Group D table tied on points (4) with France, thanks to their extra tally of goals scored. Both teams are looking set to make it to the last 16 in a group that also has Poland and Austria. Notably, Austria routed Poland 3-1 in their game in Berlin earlier on Friday.

Netherlands will face Austria in their final Group D game and even a draw will be enough for them to secure a spot in the Round of 16. On the other hand, France will face Poland, who are already out of the race to the knockout stage.

Published By:

Akshay Ramesh

Published On:

Jun 22, 2024